Life is a game. If you play it well you can etch your name, in the story called life. When you think of it, in all professional games we have fans, coaches and strategies in place. Yet we are only investing our years in academic training not really preparing for the diverse situations we are going to face in life.
Even in our own time we have seen the economic situation change globally, and are currently witnessing the fourth industrial revolution taking place. An expert recently said, “Do not ask children anymore whom they want to be when they grow up, instead ask them what they would like to do when they grow up, and that is because many of the professions would disappear or would require other skills.”
In fact most of us would have to learn new skills so there is never going to be an end to education. There are global companies that require their staff to continuously learn to stay employed. It is a healthy trend because no one gets stuck and become redundant. Well that is the case with gadgets as well. Each year consumers await the arrival of new models of their favourite gadgets. People do not mind the cost either. It has to be the latest with newest facilities. If you remain healthy why would one want to retire? Yes of course retirement is one way to guarantee jobs for others. But it seems there is a huge difference between creating jobs and having growth in job opportunities. It was interesting to listen to president of Senior Citizen’s Solidarity Foundation and chairman of ‘We Care Film Festival’ on disability issues and founder President of University of Third Age, Aarmugum Parsuraman from Mauritius. He explained how retirees take up learning and this time it is all about learning exactly what they want to learn and age is no bar. So they are back in classrooms learning from arts to the latest in the digital age, but this time around it is exactly what they want and not to do with career opportunities.
People are living longer and learning could be the best thing to keep minds healthy as one becomes senior citizens. To retire and stay away from the mainstream society is in fact a loss of talent and experience that could easily benefit the younger generation. In fact reports also point out that when seniors are preoccupied with grandchildren they are safe from Alzheimers.
To get an opportunity to learn new things at an older age and on the other hand for a youngster to get a break to secure a spot in the job market are today’s dream. Even after securing a job it is important to create a niche and that takes hard work and understanding.
When we look at successful individuals sure there are traits that are exceptional such as hard work, dedication, skills and positive attitude. Because without positive attitude public relations just would not work. But an essential trait that is often overlooked is the spirit of independence.
The more we rely on others the less control we have on time and decision making process. Being independent is part of empowerment. At the same time it is important to be a team player. I suppose it is when one reaches senior citizenship where it is most required — the team. When loneliness set in as more of your peer groups exit one longs for company. While memories are rich it is quite painful to have just memories for company. But when mind is being energised with knowledge there is a whole new purpose to life where memories have a bigger use.
When more and more entrepreneurs are thinking of making an impact would it not be fascinating to include the seniors and retirees as advisers and mentors including as teachers for young students to get extra help in studies. After all healthy mind is a healthy body. There is more to the concept of purpose and being useful contributor to the community. We have only jut touched the tip of the iceberg. The opportunities are plenty. So please do not retire. Just think differently and enjoy life. Most importantly share the wisdom and make a difference.